“Watch Dogs” Video Game PR Stunt Leads To Newsroom Evacuation

“Watch Dogs” Video Game PR Stunt Leads To Newsroom Evacuation

Back in the day when I worked at places where writers were allowed to receive free promotional crap (mostly DVDs and vodka… so much bad vodka) from PR companies, I got all manner of bizarre stuff, the strangest probably being a box that allegedly contained a few of Troy Polamalu’s signature curly locks. But if I received a tiny unmarked safe with a note to “check your voicemail,” and which beeped when I tried to open it, I might have gotten freaked out enough to call the police. [More]

This Sleazy Pitch Embodies The Worst Side Of Online Advertising

Click image to read the full e-mail from the marketing company.

Every day, our inboxes are slammed with laughably bad PR pitches that range from the unrelated — “tell your readers to check out our booth at the International Fly Fishing Film Festival” — to the hyperbolic — “this tip-figuring calculator app will literally change the way you dine out!” We don’t share these with you because, well… they’re just awful. But we recently received one that was both insidious and all-too-indicative of the ways in which marketers dangle money in front of blogs in order to get them to deliver on-message content. [More]

Sellers Of “Pure Green Coffee” Accused Of Faking News Sites, Creating Bogus Reporter

On the left, "staff reporter Helen Hasman," who has an identical twin in Mélissa Theuriau on the right.

If you’re a regular watcher of the ethically questionable Dr. Oz, then you may remember how he helped start a minor “green coffee extract” craze a couple years back by declaring it a miracle weight loss drug. In an attempt to cash in on this dubious hype, a number of sites started popping up within weeks, repeating and exaggerating the already puffed-up claims, and using fake endorsements, faux news articles and fictional “reporters.” [More]

Supermarket Display Shows How You Can Get That Chic Slave Look From “12 Years A Slave”

Supermarket Display Shows How You Can Get That Chic Slave Look From “12 Years A Slave”

It’s pretty common to be watching a TV show or movie and say to yourself, “I really like that outfit. Wonder where I could purchase it.” But that’s probably not what most people were thinking when watching the harrowing Best Picture-winning 12 Years a Slave; a fact that seemed to have been overlooked by the operators of one U.K. supermarket. [More]

New GM Ad: Our Cars Are No Longer “Grenade-Like” Death Traps

New GM Ad: Our Cars Are No Longer “Grenade-Like” Death Traps

In the midst of a reputation-damaging string of recalls now totaling more than 11 million vehicles, General Motors is in need of an image shake-up. But the carmaker may be getting a little too honest in a new TV commercial. [More]

Even Sarah McLachlan Changes The Channel When Her ASPCA Commercial Comes On

Even Sarah McLachlan Changes The Channel When Her ASPCA Commercial Comes On

Anyone who was watched basic cable after midnight in the last seven years has probably come face to face with the 2-minute long heart-rending ASPCA commercial about animal cruelty featuring singer Sarah McLachlan and her oft-karaoked song “Angel.” While it’s been a huge fundraising success for ASPCA, it’s not an easy couple of minutes to watch, especially when you’re just trying to watch a 2 a.m. rerun of House Hunters International. Now the Canadian songstress has a comforting message for those of us who reach for the remote: We’re not alone. [More]

Get Through Your Friday With The Help Of This Laughably Bad Anti-Liquor-Privatization Ad

Get Through Your Friday With The Help Of This Laughably Bad Anti-Liquor-Privatization Ad

Here in Pennsylvania, there’s a heated debate going on about whether or not to ease the state’s byzantine laws on the sale of alcohol. Both sides of the issue have merit, but a new ad arguing against changing the law isn’t doing itself any favors. [More]

Despite Jail Sentence, Scammy Pitchman Kevin Trudeau’s Infomercials Still Running

Despite Jail Sentence, Scammy Pitchman Kevin Trudeau’s Infomercials Still Running

Last month, a court sentenced bestselling author, TV pitchman and scam artist Kevin Trudeau to 10 years behind bars for repeatedly lying to and defrauding consumers. And even though Trudeau is locked up for years to come, his infomercials continue to air. [More]

Definitely Don’t Print Out These Fake Labels And Put Them On Real Products

Definitely Don’t Print Out These Fake Labels And Put Them On Real Products

As Coca-Cola recently argued before the Supreme Court, you should be able to call your product anything you want so long as it embodies the essential character of that product… even if that means calling a beverage “pomegranate” juice when an entire bottle contains barely an eye-dropper’s worth of that ingredient. So what’s good for the goose is good for the consumer, right? [More]

Burger King Resurrects Creepy Subservient Chicken, Minus The Chicken

Burger King Resurrects Creepy Subservient Chicken, Minus The Chicken

Ten years ago, Burger King launched what is still one of the more bizarre marketing ploys of the Internet era — the Subservient Chicken, a “webcam” featuring a person in a chicken suit doing the bidding of visitors to the site. Because there are now people old enough to drive cars and go to college who missed this exceedingly creepy campaign the first time around, BK has (sort of) brought it back… though not quite. [More]

This iPad Ad Placement Is Most Unfortunate

This iPad Ad Placement Is Most Unfortunate

On Monday, the Malaysian government announced that they are certain that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean, with no survivors. That’s an international tragedy and an important news story, and was the top story on the New York Times website. Unfortunately, Apple was running a large and beautiful iPad advertisement on the front page at the time. An ad that featured a diver using an iPad underwater. [More]

Rejoice! The Talking E-Trade Baby Is Being Retired

Rejoice! The Talking E-Trade Baby Is Being Retired

TV viewers who can’t always fast-forward through commercial breaks have reason to smile this morning after the announcement that the long-running and ever-creepy E-Trade talking baby ads are finally coming to an end. [More]

Get Ready To Ignore Video Ads In Your Facebook Feed

Get Ready To Ignore Video Ads In Your Facebook Feed

After a few months of testing on a handful of unlucky souls, that hated scourge of Internet browsing — the dreaded video ad — will soon be making its debut in the news feeds of all Facebook users, the company announced today. [More]

Microsoft Wants To Run More Political Campaign Ads On Xbox

Microsoft Wants To Run More Political Campaign Ads On Xbox

You know those ads that you ignore on your Xbox dashboard? President Obama used them as part of his re-election campaign in 2012, and with midterm elections on the horizon, Microsoft is doing its best to try to convince more politicians that these spots are ideal places to run targeted campaign and other political ads. [More]

Feds: ADT Paid “Independent” Experts To Shill For Pulse Security System

Feds: ADT Paid “Independent” Experts To Shill For Pulse Security System

When you see a so-called expert on the Today Show talking up a product, you might reasonably assume that this expert is giving you an honest opinion that hasn’t been tainted by cash or gifts. Alas, not every company is up front about the fact that they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their product mentioned on TV by not-exactly-independent experts. [More]

The original photo of Corey Moncrief catching a fly ball inside of a catalog. (MLB.com)

This Outfield Wall Ad Inadvertently Reveals Hidden Potential

Advertisers have been slapping their logos on outfield walls at baseball parks for longer than any of us have been alive, but have any of those advertisers taken advantage of the opportunities available for visual trickery? [More]

UPDATE: DHL Did NOT Use Color-Changing Packages To Trick UPS Into Delivering Giant DHL Ads

UPDATE: DHL Did NOT Use Color-Changing Packages To Trick UPS Into Delivering Giant DHL Ads

UPDATE: We were correct to doubt the authenticity of this “prank.” A rep for DHL tells Consumerist that while the shipping company is aware of the video, DHL did not actually pull the prank or have anything to do with the actual production of the clip that has already been viewed more than 200,000 times on YouTube. [More]

The sign outside this Montreal restaurant translates into English as, "Pick-up line of the day: does this tissue smell like chloroform?"

Restaurant Defends Chloroform/Rape Sign As “Harmless”

Because nothing lures in potential diners to your restaurant than a rape joke, an eatery in Montreal has defended its decision to display such a joke in public on a sandwich board outside its front door. [More]